This article is for friends and family of people that have had a very premature baby, and is in response to questions asked by lots of people on parenting forums.
Should I even send a new baby card and gift to parent's of a premature baby?
Firstly you most definitely should send a card and gift to someone who's had a very premature baby! Too often well-meaning friends and family delay getting anything for parents of a premature baby 'just in case', but these parents need support and messages of love even more than most.
In my time on the neonatal wards I've seen healthier babies and their parents surrounded by new baby cards and gifts, while babies in the NICU and SCBU have received very little and it's heartbreaking.
With so much specialist premature baby clothing now available it's not hard to find a great gift.
What do mum's of premature babies say?
Look what these mum's of premature babies said on Facebook about our cards and their own sad experiences of not receiving cards.
What should I write (and not write) in a card to parents of a premature baby?
I have heard the opinions of many parents of very premature and poorly babies and all they really want is acknowledgement of their new arrival, kind reassuring words for parents and baby, and messages to know that people are thinking of them and are there for them.
Avoid messages like these
If the baby is very poorly then a typical message of 'congratulations' or 'new baby' isn't appropriate, but there's lots of other words to express what you want to say.
The one thing I would not put in the card is about 'we are hoping to visit soon', because then the parents might feel that you are putting pressure on them at a time when they may want space. But you can still say that you are really looking forward to meeting the little one when the time is right.
Examples of messages parents of premature babies like to receive.
"Best wishes to you and your brave little fighter".
"Looking forward to meeting your lovely little boy/girl when he's/she's graduated from the NICU".
"We are wishing you and your little one lots of strength and good wishes for a swift home-coming".
"Congratulations on becoming parents. I realise this will be a difficult time for you, but we're here for you if and when there's anything we can do for you".
"Just letting you know that we're thinking of you and your beautiful little baby and sending you all lots of love".
"We can't wait to see you and your beautiful little baby, but we appreciate that visiting might not be appropriate for a while, so for the time-being please accept this gift with our love".
"Sending you lots of love, and please know that any time you want to talk I'm hear for you".
"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think" (a quote from Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh).
Where can you buy suitable cards and gifts for a premature baby?
As a premature baby clothing and gift specialist we have produced our own range of premature baby cards (and more typical new baby cards too). These cards have appropriate messages on the outside and are blank inside so you can write your own message.
If you'd like us to send your gift and card directly to your loved-one, you can type a message in the box on the Basket page and we'll hand write the message in the card for you before posting it.
Examples of premature baby cards you can buy here